Introduction: Professional Drupal 8 Development Tools
This Tutorial will show how to install the Acquia Dev Desktop (ADD) application for Drupal 8 development & use it to build a local Windows/Mac development sandbox environment. ADD can be used for professional module & theme programming.
Install Acquia Dev Desktop to run Drupal 8 websites locally & transfer to remote sandbox or code repositories with CVS, Git, Subversion, etc. or using CircleCI tools.
Step One: Download & Install Acquia Dev Desktop
Acquia Dev Desktop is designed to function as a full-featured local web server for hosting Drupal 7/8 files on a local desktop, laptop, or workstation environment.
The software is free to use under open source standards and may integrate with other programming tools like Eclipse, Laravel, Zend, NetBeans, or Adobe developer suite.
Required Files – Download:
Acquia Dev Desktop: (Download File)
Acquia Dev Desktop includes Apache web server, multiple versions of PHP, phpMyAdmin, XMail Server, & Percona MySQL database server.
Download & install the latest Acquia Dev Desktop package from the link above for either Mac or Windows OS. Follow the prompt-screen process & open the new app.
Step Two: Install Drupal 8 in the Acquia Dev Environment
When first launching Acquia Dev Desktop, the script will prompt for a new installation of Drupal. Admins can choose between version 7 or 8 in different installation profiles.
Note: Unless there is a specific use-case scenario that requires it on a project, it is not recommended to install Drupal 7. Choose one of the three Drupal 8 options provided:
The Thunder & Lightning distributions for Drupal 8 are Acquia approved and designed to give a quicker start when building new sites by including more modules.
Choose the Thunder distribution and follow the prompt-screens to install Drupal 8 on the local workstation. Open phpMyAdmin & create a new MySQL database:
Enter the database name & user in the Drupal 8 installation screen. Name your site & set the admin account with the password. Save the site & proceed to the homepage to log any errors. The Drupal 8 website will now be installed & ready to use on Windows or Mac running on MySQL with your choice of PHP. Choose PHP 7.2 or the latest version.
Note: Remember to “grant all privileges” to the MySQL database user in phpMyAdmin.
Step Three: Add Modules & Themes to the New Website
Log in to the Drupal 8 website on the localhost using Acquia Dev Desktop. Module programers & theme developers can use any browser to test code locally in a sandbox.
In order to install new themes on your Drupal 8 website, navigate to:
- Install new theme:admin/theme/install
In order to install new modules on your Drupal 8 website, navigate to:
Install new module: admin/modules/install
The Drupal 8 CMS will download the files from drupal.org to the local server & install automatically. If this fails, download the zip files, unpack, & install manually or use Git.
Step Four: Use Version Control to Transfer Files to Server
Drupal 8 developers programming new modules & themes for clients will need to set up version control for Agile teams using GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket, or similar platforms.
Port files in zip or gzip archives to move Drupal 8 installations between local environments, sandboxes, subdomains, & production web hosting easily with FTP or SCP.
GitHub is the most popular remote code repository for projects but is not used on drupal.org officially. Open a GitHub account or learn more in the GitHub Guides section.
GitLab is the new CVS for drupal.org projects and the entire Drupal community will be transitioning to GitLab for version control on modules, themes, & core project files.
Conclusion: Compares to Docker, WampServer, & VirtualBox
Alternatives are WampServer, Docker Desktop, Apache NetBeans, XAMPP, & VirtualBox primarily for running Drupal 8 on a local Windows/Mac desktop server.
Check out the most affordable Drupal hosting service: